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10th Edition

Managing Organizational Behavior


Moorhead & Griffin

Chapter 7

Stress Management

2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning


All rights reserved.

Prepared by Charlie Cook


The University of West Alabama

Chapter Learning Objectives


After studying this chapter you should be able to:
Define and describe the nature of stress.
Identify basic individual differences related to stress.
Identify and describe common causes of stress.
Discuss the central consequences of stress.
Describe various ways that stress can be managed.
Discuss work-life linkages and their relation to stress.

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The Nature of Stress

A persons adaptive response to a


stimulus that places excessive
psychological or physical demands
on that person

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The Nature of Stress


The Stress Process (originated from Dr. Hans Selye
findings)
Selye introduce the General Adaptation Syndrome
(GAS) and the concepts of eustress and distress.
General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)
According to this model, each of us has a normal level of
resistance to stressful events.
Some tolerate a great deal of stress and others much less.
However, everyone have a threshold at which stress starts to
affects us.
GAS identifies three stages of response to a stressor alarm,
resistance, exhaustion

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The Nature of Stress (cont.)


The GAS begins when a person first encounters a stressor.
The first stage is known as alarm. Person starts to feel some
degree of panic and begin to wonder how to cope.
If it is too extreme, person may start to resist the negative
effects of the stressor by trying to calm down, calling home
and talk with the kids or going out for dinner etc.
If the person managed to complete the task on time, he/she
will head home tired but happy. However, if the person literally
gives up or exhausted and can no longer fight the stressor,
he/she will may fall asleep at their desk and fail to finish the
report.

Who says I am stressed out?


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7.1

The General Adaptation Syndrome

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The Nature of Stress (cont.)


Sources of stress
Eustress: pleasurable stress accompanying positive events
Dr. Selye pointed out that sources of stress need not be bad. Sometimes receiving good things such as receiving a bonus and
deciding on how to spend, can also lead to stress. Other example: getting married, promoted, receiving award etc.
It can lead to a number of positive outcomes for the individual
Distress: unpleasant stress accompanying negative events
Excessive pressure, unreasonable demands on our time, bad news etc. fall into this category.
This form of stress, generally results in negative consequences for the individual.

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Individual Differences and Stress


Personality Profiles
Type A Personality Profile
People who are extremely competitive, highly
committed to work, have a strong sense of time
urgency
This type of person is likely aggressive, impatient and
highly work oriented.
He / She has a lot of drive and motivation and wants to
accomplish as much as possible in a short time as
possible.

Type B Personality Profile

Which one is the best?


According to researchers, it
depends on individual
characteristics. However,
type A person will be more
have a
likely to get coronary heart
disease compared to type
either people
B.

Less competitive, less committed to work,


weaker sense of time urgency
This type of person feels less conflict with
or time and has a more balanced, relaxed approach to
life.
He / She has more confidence and is able to work at a
constant pace.

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Individual Differences and Stress


o Individual differences related to stress are categorized into:
Hardiness
A persons ability to cope with stress.
People with hardy personalities have an internal locus
of control, are strongly committed to the activities in
their lives and view change as an opportunity for
advancement and growth.
They are relatively unlikely to suffer illness if they
experience high levels of pressure and stress.

Optimism
The extent to which a person sees life in relatively
positive or negative terms
A person with a lot of optimism will always look at
challenges as an opportunity. While, a person with less
optimism (a pessimist) will always see it negatively.
Optimistic people tend to handle stress better.
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7.2
Causes and
Consequences
of Stress

Reference: Adapted from James C. Quick and Jonathan D. Quick, Organizational


Stress and Preventive Management (McGraw-Hill, 1984) pp. 19, 44, and 76.

711

Organizational Stressors
Workplace Stress Factors
Task Demands
Associated with the specific job a person
performs

Physical Demands
Associated with the jobs physical setting and
requirements

Role Demands
Associated with the expected behaviors of a
particular position in a group or organization

Interpersonal Demands
Group pressures, leadership, personality
conflicts
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Organizational Stressors: Role Demands


Role
A set of expected behaviors associated with a particular position in a group
or organization.

Role Stress
Role ambiguity due to unclear roles
Role conflict due to:
Interrole conflict conflict between roles. Example: as a husband (wife ask to
come home early) and as an employee (boss ask to do over-time)
Intrarole conflict conflict occur when a person gets conflicting demands from
different sources within the same context of the role. Example: Mgmt. ask to put
more pressure on staff to follow new work rules but at the same time subordinates
expect he/she to get the rules change
Intrasender conflict occurs when a single source sends clear but contradictory
messages. Example: when a boss inform that there will be no more over-time for
the month but later on ask someone to stay late on the same evening.

Role overload due to role expectations exceeding an individuals capabilities

713

7.1

Most and Least Stressful Jobs

Top Most Stressful Jobs

Top Least Stressful Jobs

1. Surgeon

1. Actuary

2. Commercial Airline Pilot

2. Dietitian

3. Photojournalist

3. Computer Systems Analyst

4. Advertising Account Executive

4. Statistician

5. Real Estate Agent

5. Astronomer

6. Physician (General Practice)

6. Mathematician

7. Reporter (Newspaper)

7. Historian

8. Physician Assistant

8. Software Engineer

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7.3

Workload, Stress, and Performance

715

External Causes of Stress


Life Stressors
Events that take place outside the organization
Life change
Any meaningful change in a persons personal or work
situation. It can be either: directly - retirement, retrenchment
or indirectly: change in residence, the lost of family members

Life trauma
Any upheaval in an individuals life that alters his or her
attitudes, emotions or behaviors.
Similar to life change, but it has a narrower, more direct and
shorter-term focus.
Example: divorce, marital problem, family difficulties and
health problems.
The dismay of the news may translate into
stress at work

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7.2

Life Changes and Life Change Units

The amount of life stress that a person has experiences in a given period of time, say one year, is measured by the total number of life change units (LCUs). These
units result from the addition of the values (shown in the right hand column) associated with events that the person has experienced during the target time period.

Reprinted from JOURNAL OF PSYCHOSOMATIC RESEARCH, V11,


Thomas H. Holmes and Richard H. Rahe: "The Social Adjustment
Rating Scale," Copyright 1967, with permission from Elsevier.

717

Consequences of Stress
Individual
Consequences

Organizational
Consequences

Behavioral

Performance

Psychological

Withdrawal

Medical

Attitudes
Burnout

718

7.4

Individual and Organizational Coping Strategies

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Managing Stress in the Workplace (contd)


Organizational Coping Strategies
Institutional Programs
Design of jobs and work schedules
Fostering a healthy work culture
Supervision

Collateral Programs
Organizational programs specifically
created to help employees deal with stress
Stress management, health promotion,
employee fitness programs, career
development

720

Work-Life Linkages
Fundamental Work-Life Relationships
Interrelationships between a persons work life and
personal life

Balancing Work-Life Linkages


Importance of long-term versus
short-term perspectives
Significance of evaluating tradeoffs between values

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